As the ridiculous A-rod to Flushing rumors have rightfully been put to silence after dominating back page for the better part of the last three weeks, General Manager Omar Minaya may finally set his sights on bolstering a far more glaring weakness.
Starting pitching is at a premium in this day and age. There was a point not too long ago when a team could acquire a front-line starting pitcher in a salary dump situation. However, quality starting pitching is more in demand now than it has ever been. The trade front will cost the farm, and it’s even questionable if the Mets crops intrigue any front office brass throughout the league. A free-agent market headlined by Carlos Silva and Livan Hernandez certainly is not going to send you racing with unrest through Times Square.
Every faithful follower of the Amazins has outlying hope that Minaya is going to make a splash. A question I pose however, is where this huge starting pitcher is coming from? I just cannot fathom a scenario in which any tangible pitcher is going to be brought to the Big Apple. Omar would be wise to lay off Carlos Silva along with the four year, forty million dollar pact he is said to be seeking on the open market.
You hear the names thrown out there. Johan Santana, Scott Kazmir…tear tear, Jake Peavy, but realistically, none of them are available, and if they were, Minaya doesn’t have the chips to bring to the table that would entice a team to send any of the above packing.
While innocently browsing through the list of all free agent pitchers, the realization hit me that none of them are good. There isn’t a name the Mets can possibly obtain that is better than any of their “in-house” options. Is Carlos Silva really going to be any kind of upgrade over a 24 year old Mike Pelfrey? Go right ahead, pull a trigger on a deal to get a true difference maker, a so called “Ace” but please, don’t just make a deal to make a deal.
Pelfrey along with Philip Humber are quality starting pitchers, but you would never recognize this because of the way scouts and media alike heave aside their potential, and thump them for the hand full of starts they have had. Don’t overlook the fact that these two kids don’t have a full major league season under their belts if you were to combine both of their bodies of work. Hell, they don’t even have a combined 100 innings for anyone to fairly criticize.
Any true baseball mind, Mets fan or not, would honestly say their ready to give up on the crown jewel of their system after 94 mediocre innings on the hill. Nate Robertson of the Detroit Tigers narrowly missed losing 20 games during his rookie campaign, and he turned out to be a very solid hurler and a fixture in the Detroit rotation. Not to compare the two at all, but I feel as though Pelfrey and to a lesser extent Humber, hold far more value to the Mets than to any other organization.
Bullpen is arguably a more superior necessity for the Mets going into the off-season. With Guillermo Mota and Scott Schoeneweis under guaranteed contracts, Minaya is unlikely to give any reliever on the Market more than a two year deal. Frankly, could you blame him though? Is Jeremy Affeldt or a post San Diego Scott Linebrink for the next three or four years a wise business and baseball move?
Billy Wagner will be the light at the end of the tunnel again in 2008, whether it’s bright or dim, that is yet to be decided, otherwise the roles and personnel the pen will feature is a mystery that I’m not certain Matlock could come to terms with. Again I would rather go into battle with in house options like a healthy Duaner Sanchez and Juan Padilla and depending on his development, a young flamethrower in Eddie Kunz. Those options won’t cost a dime, and really in retrospect will give you about the same production that anyone else available will bring to the table.